Posted by Alex W.C. on 10:41 AM
On January 31st, Diana Taurasi made it clear in an AP interview, posted on ESPN.Com, that she never took the substance that she tested positive for in Turkey.

"There's no way I've ever taken anything," she told The Associated Press by telephone Sunday night from her parents' home in Chino, Calif.

So now, the wait begins. There has been no punishment handed down from the Turkish league as of today and Taurasi has already stated she plans to appeal. The process could take until the end of 2011. That's quite a long time, for Taurasi, and for fans, to wait.

However, something has intrigued me more; the response to the allegations of her taking a PED. (performance enhancing drug) Since this news broke some time ago, there have been the usual suspects; the doubters, the haters, and the supporters. But what has intrigued me more are the arguments, particularly the ones that support her being guilty.

Let me get one thing out of the way first. Those of you who know me, know I'm a Taurasi fan. So yes, I'm biased. And yes, I believe her. (after all, we Taurasi fans are, what do they say, Batshit Insane?) Now, after you've put that in your pipe and smoked it...

If you peruse the comments of the article above, you will notice that in between the supporters, that there are a greater number of people who, as it seems, take great joy in announcing their beliefs that Diana is guilty of the allegations, period. Now, I firmly believe everyone has the right to their opinions; such as the beauty of living in a country such as ours. It is, however, the arguments these people use that support their beliefs that I just cannot wrap my head around. (One ESPN member by the name of msmoniker went so far as to use 3 separate posts to weigh in on the issue) So, rather than reprint/analyze each one, I've categorized them for your convenience.

1) Diana hired the same attorney that other athletes in the same situation hired, therefore she's guilty. (or) The attorney Diana hired has had a great deal of clients who were guilty, therefore she is too.

So, Diana is in the wrong for hiring one of the few attorneys that has experience in this kind of matter? In this day and age, when you are accused of anything at this level, and you have no legal representation, you are simply chum waiting for the sharks. I am by no means a fan of lawyers, but if my career was on the line and I believed I was innocent, not to mention I had the resources to hire the best help, I damn well would.

2) It doesn't matter what background the lab has, nor it's reputation, it's accredited now and that is all that matters.

Would you take your car to a mechanic that previously was found negligent of repairs as opposed to one that wasn't? Go to a restaurant that was previously fined by the local board of health as opposed to one that has a clean record? These things do not prove that these establishments should be shut down, but to go through a period improvements to begin anew. However, it still creates a sense of doubt, especially in my mind. Not to mention the lab hasn't come forth with a lot of effort trying to prove otherwise. Not saying they are automatically in the wrong, but their reputation gives me reason to doubt the accuracy of their tests, and believe Taurasi.

3) She took too long to deny the allegations, so she has to be guilty.

When these allegations surfaced, it was still unclear if and what was going to happen. She was still in Turkey and just trying to figure out what happened.

"I had never heard of it and couldn't pronounce it," Taurasi said. "I had to Google it to find out the side effects. I never have come in contact with it."

It is always a good idea to figure out the situation you are in before you start making statements. She has always been a smart player, on and off the court. The timing of one's statements do not necessarily indicate the validity of them.

4) There is a long list of athletes who denied using PED's, then admitted guilt. She must be one of them.

Guilt by association? Really, I'm not going to even comment on how invalid this is.

5) There is a clear outlined procedure for drug tests to avoid human error, so she must be guilty.

Really? Unless you are the lab manager of that exact lab in Turkey, and you personally developed and put into place the "procedure" you speak of, then I can see your point. If not, you have no proof that the procedure in question was accurately followed. There is absolutely no procedure that can be implemented to eliminate human error.

Again, everyone has the right to their own opinions. You can believe Taurasi, or not. I believe her. And until she says otherwise, I stand by my decision to do so.

For those of you arguing as to why she's guilty, consider this - if you were wrongfully accused of something and people were using these arguments to implicate your guilt, how would you feel?

Put the shoe on the other foot people.


Open letter to the WADA

Posted by Alex W.C. on 12:31 PM

The following was posted by Gökhan Senoglu in the discussion section on Diana Taurasi's official facebook page. You cannot deny that in the wake of the allegations against Taurasi, that the support has been overwhelming to say the least. Some people call it blind faith - I call it believing in someone.

WADA (headquarters)
Fax : +1 514 904 8650
Fax: +41 21 343 43 41


Send this letter to World Anti Doping Agency and help Diana Taurasi


To whom it may concern‚
As a group of avid basketball fans that truly believe in the integrity‚ ethics and fairplay‚ we would like to bring to your attention the events unfolded around Diana Taurasis alleged use of a banned substance.

On or about December 23‚ 2010‚ we learned that the Fenerbahce Basketball player Diana Taurasis' A sample‚ taken after a regular league game against ISTANBUL University contained a banned substance. Apparently‚ the news leaked and Taurasis right to confidentiality as a result was breached.
On December 28‚ 2010‚ only 5 days the news was leaked‚ the head of Turkish Football Federation Anti-Doping Organization and the Chairman of Turkish Basketball Federation Health Department‚ Prof. Dr. Turgay Atasu‚ went on various media outlets and declared that he was confident Taurasis B sample was also positive and she should be banned 2 years. Dr. Atasu clearly violated Taurasis fundamental right to presumed innocence and rendered the process of analyzing the B sample a mere formality.

Please note that when Dr Atasu was drawing his conclusions when Taurasis B sample was not even opened and clearly he was formulating public opinion that Taurasi was guilty of doping and she should be punished. He further went on and said he was in favor of exposing cheaters as soon as there is some evidence of wrongdoing. His total disregard of due process and confidentiality of results is self evident in his widely published remarks.

Dr Atasu is a public official in a position of authority in doping matters and he is also head of a health committee with the Turkish Basketball Federation that is responsible from receiving and evaluating the test results. His comments published in all major news outlets are outrageous‚ unacceptable and in clear and irrefutable violation of WADA Code Article 14.2.5.

Furthermore‚ in the last few months there are at least 5 other athletes accused of doping using the same banned substance‚ modafinil. After 2‚5 years of no reported doping cases how can one logically explain the sudden explosion of Modafinil in 5 other athletes within a very short time?. Given the tarnished history of Hacettepe University Doping Control Center and their suspension in 2009‚ this raises very serious concerns about the integrity of their testing procedures and the results.

While we are in favor of punishing those who cheated to gain a competitive advantage‚ we are also a strong advocates of fair testing done in a professional manner adhering to the highest procedural and ethical standards. Unfortunately in Taurasis case it is clearly impossible to talk about such standard. Dr. Atasus comments coupled with this labs questionable history and practices raise significant concerns and questions that are yet to be answered.!

Based on these facts we kindly request (or to be informed of):

-Immediate suspension of Hacettepe University Turkish Doping Control Center.
-A thorough investigation of Dr. Turgay Atasus public comments to understand how he was sure that Taurasis B sample was positive before it was even analyzed?
-Was he in contact with the lab personnel?
-Did he influence the testing process to determine the outcome?
-A complete review of the Labs procedures‚ analysis techniques and instruments in light of all positive cases for the same substance that occurred in a very short period of time.
-Most importantly a retest of Taurasis both A and B samples in another accredited laboratory to alleviate significant doubts and concerns about the integrity of the results .


**contact information is posted above.

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